Deus Ex Machina

by mgopin on September 2, 2014 · 0 comments

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Men who represent governments are not entitled to their own opinions nor do they control absolutely anything. Therefore those who are risking their lives around the world and ask government officials for their opinion are not only wasting their time, they are also putting themselves in danger. Do not make revolutions or rebellions or demonstrations based on external promises. Ever ever ever.

 

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A Moment

by mgopin on September 2, 2014 · 0 comments

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It is a special agony leaving loved ones behind who go back to war. It is a special guilt that tears at the soul.

Aug 29 from FB

 

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Violence: The Turning

by mgopin on August 28, 2014 · 0 comments

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disarmament
It is a law:
Violence begets nonviolence,
Like a tulip in winter,
In all places,
In all cultures.
But only those
With eyes wide open
Can see it,
In the middle of
Winter storms.

The most important turning point
for any civilization passing from darkness into light
is every moment
that a weapon passes
from someone who has no self control
and no compassion
to someone who does.
[click to continue…]

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Reason and Compassion

by mgopin on August 27, 2014 · 0 comments

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compassion

Reason and compassion are lovers
That give birth to our humanity,
but only when they engage
Daily, with intensity.
The more one’s mind
is drawn daily to compassion
For all sentient life,
the more it is drawn daily to develop
universal principles of behavior
that apply to all beings
Without exception,
Even very imperfect beings.
The more that reason is developed daily
the more it becomes empirically clear
that we are all the same,
in 99% of our being,
the more it becomes empirically self evident
That where we are different
it is an advantage,
Our diversity is our strength.

compassion and reason are lovers,
So that we can be.

 

(Photo: Cultivating Leadership)

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Customer or employees care concept

GOD

An atheist leader
who is rational,
Can be more a messenger,
of God’s mercy for the powerless,
than a leader,
who bows down to God,
over the dead bodies,
of his victims.

‘Less suffering’
Is the tortured scream
of God.

An authentic smile
Is the fleeting face of God,
A single act of kindness,
The touch of Her finger.

Only when you accept death,
Can you become committed
To the renewal of life.
Only when you see democracy die,
Can you plan its rebirth. [click to continue…]

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URGENT ON SYRIA

by mgopin on August 23, 2014 · 0 comments

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America, ISIS , and Al nusra , turkey Iran

From the border of Syria

Reports indicate that the United States has come to a decision that Isis in Syria cannot be separated from Isis in Iraq in terms of stabilizing the region and national interests. It becomes essential at this point that whatever the United States does it makes a distinction between the two groups, Isis and al nusra
It is clear that Isis is mostly foreigners and they split badly with al nusra .
Al nusra is mostly Syrian. If United States attacks Al nusra it will be interpreted by the Syrian people as an attack on them. In addition, Al nusra Is vital for the defense of many innocent people from the regime.
This distinction can and must be made. With enough intelligence and Cooperation this will be easily done. The Syrian people on the ground are confident that even this radical group because it is mostly Syrian and because most of the fighters are are committed to a unified Syria that they will all be able to negotiate eventually on the safety of all Syrians and a new Syria. My impression from the ground is that this is correct. I have met with many people whom I will not mention that gives me high confidence that these relationships are possible. However it is also the case that it will be vital that as a cease-fire is negotiated in a permanent peace that there are select and specific spaces in which peacekeepers and human rights enforcers will be essential from the first moment. This is particularly where Alewite and Sunni live in close proximity to each other.
That is why whoever is being funded by pentagon or others here must be funded for conflict resolution training in order for all parties to accept a ceasefire with Alewites and even with regime .
There are millions of people who are in the regime territories , it is vital that as a cease-fire is possible that everyone be protected especially Alewite and Sunni who are close to each other.
Also there is extensive evidence that many in al nusra respect the rights of minorities and specific times in which they saved the lives of Christians from other radicals and angry soldiers.

Turkey and Iran
Also it is very clear and inescapable fact that on a.n. has a very close alliance with turkey. This must be accepted. It must also be accepted that Turkey and Iran are already in close negotiations as proxies of both the Syrian regime and A.n. and other Syrian groups, as evidenced by negotiations over the Armenian town. We must encourage this. Because these proxies are the only rational actors in the region .
the man in Moscow is a tiger that seems to block all possibilities of negotiations. and in the Gulf there are too many actors who have such an inveterate hatred of Iran And Shia that they cannot act rationally here either.

Certainly the Syrian regime also has its share of radical Iranian actors on the ground who are extremely irresponsible and violent committing even war crimes. But the government of Iran as a whole must be brought in to the proxy negotiations on de-escalation of this conflict because these radical Iranians here do not in any way shape or form represent the people of Iran as a whole and certainly not the president of Iran.

We are witnessing a splitting in every society on the question of violence tolerance and coexistence. In the words of one Islamic leader who I met here the world is dividing up ,every world , between those who are doing good and those who are doing evil. And we must weave together every one of those actors who are standing for good in the society and even in the government of every single actor in the region.

Time for ceasefire but don’t ask any interested parties outside Syria.

This following point is extremely important. The fighters on the ground and the people on the ground inside Syria must be distinguished from the political elites of Syrians outside of Syria. Many people outside of Syria are determined to have the Syrians fight to the death. But on the ground both sides including the regime know that they cannot control the entire country that they cannot win the entire country. Both are tired. Both are terrified of Isis despite the fact that everyone in some way gave rise to the possibility of this extreme cancer. Both know that they cannot conquer what they want most. I heard this from multiple sources from those who are close to the regime and those who are right inside the fighting.
This is an opportunity for proxy negotiations and preventing those who want a fight to the death. The terrifying phenomenon of Isis and the decision of multiple governments to go against them is actually an opportunity. It is the first time that we see agreement between Saudi and Iran and Russia and the United States and turkey. We have a president of the United States and a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States who are very rational men. We have a president of Iran who is a rational man . we have a king of Saudi who has achieved a level of wisdom and rationality (unlike other dangerous families and clerics in his country) about what can and cannot be done in the Middle East and what is necessary for the stability of states and the future of his region. This is rare. We must inject into this search for stability the necessity of a search for coexistence between religious differences with a practical and pragmatic commitment to human rights and the coexistence of different kinds of Islam as an essential aspect of the stability of all states.

Now is the time to utilize the proxy nations to negotiate an immediate cease-fire between the forces that are willing to engage in that cease-fire. Then those who continue to fight will be targeted like Isis
Foreigners will be encouraged to leave as quickly as possible. Those who engage in the cease-fire will commit to the protection of all minorities in their realm , in the realms that they have. The international community will agree to send in peace keepers and human rights observers and advisers to go to all places where people are subject to human rights violations especially where there is close coexistence of minorities, especially to police and and prisons who will aid in the immediate monitoring of all prisoner treatment . The cease-fire will involve an immediate welcoming of all non-military aid and all medical aid to all areas without interference based on mutual guarantees and observation of the nonlethal and nonmilitary nature of that medical aid and medical personnel.
All of this will release many other positive forces of Syrians
I have witnessed hear some of the most heroic and creative human beings I have ever witnessed in the middle of war. This too is Syria this is the untold story of the people of Syria. Their heroism their generosity. I have seen an incredible relationship between Turks and Syrians and the Turkish government and its generosity. At many levels there are possibilities here but they all recut require an earnest and intense approach to cease-fire between the parties that are willing to be coaxed into that cease-fire. While the world community takes care of extremists who are unwilling to leave and retreat.

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Counterterrorism

by mgopin on August 21, 2014 · 0 comments

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The purpose of terrorism is to provoke a response. The purpose of the provocation of response is to create martyrs. The purpose of the creation of martyrs is an army of enthusiastic especially young men in search of glory and sex. The purpose of the creation of an army is the replacement of old political order with a new order.

The purpose of counterterrorism should be the defense of one’s population, even better, the defense of all life. The actual function of counterterrorism is the strengthening of the police state and weapons sales. The actual function of political counterterrorism by politicians is to create votes. The purpose of the creation of votes is the maintenance of the power structure and strengthening of the state.
Thus the cycle is complete. For when the counterterrorists respond with appropriate excessive violence to the bait of the terrorists both achieve their purpose. And then the people suffer which is their function, That is until they wake up from their dreaming.

capitol-fbi-640

 

(Photo: Fox News)

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I recently wrote a cover article reflecting on the recent war in Gaza to the newsletter published by School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Practice is a messy, miserable reality that deserves its own independent study. What do we do in times of war? This has dramatically changed for me and many others in just the last year or two, where every war seems to be bringing individuals together online to a level of intimacy, collaboration, and care unprecedented, and others to a level of hatred unprecedented. Then there are shades of gray, where how you frame your disagreements, your texts, your cries, your screams, your pleas, your ruminations in the dead of night, all of it yields surprising communications across enemy lines, in all of the many and variegated enemy systems that overlap in international conflicts. A string of people from one side of the conflict becoming the only lifeline for a family on the other side.

ICAR professor Marc Gopin headshot.For the full article to access, please click here.

 

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Reflections in August 2014 vol.1

by mgopin on August 19, 2014 · 0 comments

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Galilee

In war in an age of war the act of ultimate defiance is to make another human being feel wonderful.

Testosterone, gestures of kindness are semen seeds. Men get busy, it will make you inherently happy and bear you many children.

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). A doctrine that was supposed to be about deterrence, not prophecy. #Israel#Hamas#Palestine

Mimicry, the compulsion of humans to mirror their postures, facial expressions, and enemy war cries. Most posts on FB and Twitter. 

Better to deny the past in fear and embrace the present with courage than to embrace the past with courage and deny the present in fear.

[click to continue…]

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Very important Muslim statement on IS.

Sunni and Shiite Muslim leaders in the United Kingdom have come together to denounce the Islamic militant group ISIS in a video posted by a group called Imams Online, reports the BBC.

A statement on the Imams Online website says, “Senior British imams have come together to emphasize the importance of unity in the UK and to decree ISIS as an illegitimate, vicious group who do not represent Islam in any way.”

Click here to read the whole article.

 

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